Saturday, July 25, 2015

Plate by Plate 2015 (Los Angeles, CA)

Plate by Plate 2015 at California Market Center
110 E 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90079
Sat 07/25/2015, 06:00p-10:00p

Plate by Plate Logo

Over the weekend, Project by Project hosted its 13th annual Plate by Plate tasting benefit at the California Market Center. For the uninitiated, Project by Project is a nationwide non-profit focused on issues relating to the Asian-American community. Each year, the group chooses a particular theme to concentrate on--health, education, the arts, and so on--and partners with a charitable organization in that space. With 2015's theme of housing, the partner chosen was Center for the Pacific Asian Family, a local non-profit dedicated to providing shelter and support to victims of domestic violence. As in years past, Plate by Plate showcased the culinary talents of some of the City's most popular and up-and-coming eateries, all washed down by free-flowing beverages of various varieties.

Alek Tan, Kelly Li Becky Chou, Victoria Lee
L: Director of Finance Alek Tan and Marketing Team Member Kelly Li with the signed "Golden Goblet" award for best drink of the night (which went to 1886 at The Raymond). Members were advised not to drink out of said goblet.
R: Former PbP teammates Becky Chou and Victoria Lee were in attendance.

Bara Chirashi Sushi Chef Yoya Takahashi & Hamasaku Team
Hamasaku Sushi Chef Yoya Takahashi was on hand with colorful cups of Bara Chirashi.

Executive Chef Philip Pretty & Fundamental LA Team Grilled Lamb Belly | corn grits, watermelon, shishito
Philip Pretty of Fundamental LA lived up to his name with his comely plates of Grilled Lamb Belly | corn grits, watermelon, shishito.

Nishiki Rice | bottarga, salmon chicharrón, beurre de baratte Pastry Chef Frania Mendivil, Executive Chef Paul Lee & Patina Team
Chocolate Cake Rochers | coffee whipped ganache, chicory pavlova, hazelnut crémeux, chocolate cake tuile Mini Pushpops | exotic passion coconut crémeux, white chocolate, chocolate pop rocks / Nitro Cotton Candy Dragon Breath
An ambitious Nishiki Rice | bottarga, salmon chicharrón, beurre de baratte was the contribution from Patina's new toque Paul Lee. Next door was an impressive selection of sweets from Patina Catering Pastry Chef Frania Mendivil, her headlining Chocolate Cake Rochers | coffee whipped ganache, chicory pavlova, hazelnut crémeux, chocolate cake tuile joined by Mini Pushpops | exotic passion coconut crémeux, white chocolate, chocolate pop rocks and the ever-popular Nitro Cotton Candy Dragon Breaths.

Bill Chait, Julie Mills Allan Su
L: Bill Chait and company were in the house to support a record eight restaurants from the Sprout LA family.
R: Marketing Team Member Allan Su was one of the first to experience the ethereal delights of Patina's liquid nitrogen-laced candies.

Whole Foods Team Crispy Prosciutto with Grilled Sweet Onion Crostini / Bay Shrimp with Spicy Mango Slaw Crostini / Kite Hill Ricotta with Pickled Strawberries Crostini
Event sponsor Whole Foods Market served up a trio of toasts: Crispy Prosciutto with Grilled Sweet Onion Crostini, Bay Shrimp with Spicy Mango Slaw Crostini, and Kite Hill Ricotta with Pickled Strawberries Crostini.

Devon Espinosa Ricotta Gnudi Beverage Director Devon Espinosa, Executive Chef Steven Fretz, Pastry Chef Ian Opina & The Church Key Team
Steven Fretz and Ian Opina from The Church Key had Ricotta Gnudi and Milk Chocolate Smores going, while Beverage Director Devon Espinosa concocted a creative baijiu cocktail as a nod to the event sponsor: U So Lucky | baijiu, strawberry, lemon, Chinese 5-spice, suze, orange peel. Fretz, of course, is working on seafooder Fin and Fire in the Arts District, so we'll see if that place drops in time for PbP next year.

Chef de Cuisine Michael Kahikina & Barrel & Ashes Team Pulled Pork Sliders | coleslaw, Carolina Gold, poppy seed bun Watermelon Salad | jicama, jalapeño, cilantro, radish, watermelon vinaigrette
Over at the Barrel & Ashes table, CdC Michael Kahikina offered up Pulled Pork Sliders | coleslaw, Carolina Gold, poppy seed bun and a refreshing Watermelon Salad | jicama, jalapeño, cilantro, radish, watermelon vinaigrette.

Yulree Chun Dora Quach
L: President Yulree Chun giving her introductory remarks.
R: A word from Dora Quach, Employment and Housing Resource Manager at CPAF.

Ceviche Negro | local white sea bass, squid ink, mango, chile de arbol, peanuts Chef de Cuisine Fabian Gallardo & Petty Cash Team
Chef de Cuisine Fabian Gallardo from Petty Cash did good with his Ceviche Negro | local white sea bass, squid ink, mango, chile de arbol, peanuts. Meanwhile, keep an eye out for Petty Cash v2.0 to debut in the old Fifty Seven spot sooner rather than later.

Pastry Chef Ivan Marquez & Short Cake Team Pecan, Whiskey and Chocolate Bars / Chocolate Chip Cookies / Seasonal Stone Fruit Crisps / Strawberry Shortcakes / Seasonal Berry Tarlets
Short Cake's Ivan Marquez had an impressive spread of the sweet stuff: Pecan, Whiskey and Chocolate Bars, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Seasonal Stone Fruit Crisps, Strawberry Shortcakes, and Seasonal Berry Tarlets. He was also relieved not to be outdoors this year.

Executive Assistant Ronnie Pessin & The District by Hannah An Team Hannah's Handmade Noodles
The team at The District by Hannah An had a crowd pleaser in the form of their eponymous Hannah's Handmade Noodles.

DJ Booth View James, Tuyet Nguyen, Sunny
L: The vantage point from the DJ station (pre-bass drop).
R: A family affair: Manager of Event Production Tuyet Nguyen with mom Sunny and uncle James.

Mushroom Risotto with Braised Short Ribs Chef/Owner Andre Guerrero, Chef Clinton Dunn & Maximiliano Team
Andre Guerrero and Clinton Dunn from Maximiliano had one of the heartier plates of the night with their Mushroom Risotto with Braised Short Ribs.

David Rosoff, Chef Chris Feldmeier, PR Manager Tessa Naso & Moruno Team Chicken Morunos Pork Morunos
One of newest concepts tonight, David Rosoff and Chris Feldmeier's skewer-centric eatery Moruno brought both Chicken and Pork Morunos. Look for the restaurant to debut in the former home of Short Order in the coming months (with a take-out window opening on the 31st), and don't forget about their forthcoming outpost at Grand Central Market either.

Moutai Bar Moutai Girls
Plate by Plate's Platinum-level sponsor this year was CNS Imports, a local distributor/importer specializing in Asian spirits (e.g. baijiu). Their bevy of cheongsam-clad models added a nice pop of color to the space.

Coconut Curry Mussels Director of Special Events Christina Lee, Executive Chef Kris Morningstar & Terrine Team
Moving from the Atrium to the Fashion Theater now, up first was Terrine, where Chef Kris Morningstar and Christina Lee doled out bowls of Coconut Curry Mussels.

Executive Chef Michael Hung & Faith & Flower Team NY Steak Tartare | miso aioli, whole grain crackers
Though Chef Michael Hung will be departing Faith & Flower in the coming days, he still put forth a worthy effort with his NY Steak Tartare | miso aioli, whole grain crackers. As for his next move, I wouldn't be surprised if he stuck by Stephane's side.

Cognoscenti Coffee Team Honest Tea Team
L: Coffee duties tonight were the charge of Cognoscenti.
R: Speaking of non-alcoholic beverages, there was also tea from pun-y purveyor Honest Tea.

Reserve Reps Stella Yuen, Calvin Kwan, Marilyn Tran
L: Upstart dining app Reserve represent!
R: Manager of Team and Leadership Development Stella Yuen, Volunteer Team Member Calvin Kwan, and Director of Volunteer Management Marilyn Tran stalking the silent auction items.

Peking Pork | pork belly on top of hand made scallion pancake with a drizzle of garlic oyster sauce Andrew Chiu, Andrew Wong & Peking Tavern Team
Peking Tavern co-founders Andrew Chiu and Andrew Wong may have served Peking Pork | pork belly on top of hand made scallion pancake with a drizzle of garlic oyster sauce, but also created their own Andrew sandwich for one lucky lady.

Ryan Trinh & Bird Pick Tea & Herb Team Teaonic Team
L: Bird Pick Tea & Herb had three varieties on tap: Chrysanthemum Orangeade | chrysanthemum tea with oranges, lemon, lightly sweetened with sugar, Ginger Tea | ginger tea with honey & sugar, and Tropical Sunrise | white tea, lemon, orange, mint, hibiscus, lightly sweetened with sugar. Diggin' the beret on Ryan Trinh.
R: Also slanging tea was Desiree Chesler's Teaonic, which produces a line of oddly-specific teas specifically targeted toward improving particular areas of the body (e.g. Skin, Liver, Adrenals).

Executive Chef Nick Erven & Saint Martha Team Shucked Oyster | apple, celery, kimchi mignonette
Saint Martha's Nick Erven was looking more hipster than ever, churning out a dish of Shucked Oyster | apple, celery, kimchi mignonette. Was the descriptor of "shucked" really necessary though? I can't imagine guests having to pry off the shells themselves.

Elizabeth Yang, Phil Cheng Tuyet Nguyen, Cherisse H. Cleofe, Cherisse Cleofe
L: Power couple Elizabeth Yang and Phil Cheng marked their second visit to Plate by Plate.
R: Manager of Event Production Tuyet Nguyen and a double dose of Cherisse Cleofes (Cherisse Cleofe-squared) (yes, they have the same name).

Noodle Setup Chef de Cuisine Michael Segerstrom & Little Sister Team
Little Sister represented Blackhouse's first foray into PbP, and on deck was Chef de Cuisine Michael Segerstrom with a damn impressive-looking presentation of noodles. Watch out for another outpost of Little Sister to drop in Downtown in the coming months (Littler Sister?).

Bundaberg Team Boba 7 Team
L: The Bundaberg rep was smoldering, especially with his Oz accent.
R: Boba 7's #Bobagasm came fortified with Moutai tonight. Now, if only there was a way to infuse the boba pearls themselves with booze...

Italian Cookies Scopa's Cocktail
Naima Wilson & Scopa Team Mini Riceballs | meat sauce, peas, ricotta, mozzarella, tomato sauce, parmesan, parsley
Naima Wilson and the Scopa Italian Roots team put on a strong show with their Mini Riceballs | meat sauce, peas, ricotta, mozzarella, tomato sauce, parmesan, parsley, Italian Cookies, and specialty libation.

Dan Matthews, Phil Yu, Yulree Chun Yulree Chun, Aaron Takahashi
L: President Yulree Chun with sundry VIPs, including Dan Matthews from Wong Fu Productions and Phil Yu of Angry Asian Man.
R: Yulree again, this time with actor Aaron Takahashi (whom you may recognize from that commercial).

Pacific International Liquor Team Billy Wing, Taichi Seki & Asahi Team
L: Pacific International Liquor offered up a number of different sakes as well as Kawaba beer.
R: Asahi's Taichi Seki was in the hizzy tonight, accompanied as always by Events Team Member Billy Wing.

Chicken Liver Mousse | raspberry jam / Country Pate | mustard / Bresaola | Parmesan, lemon, arugula Jessica Mills, Chef Gavin Mills
Chef Gavin Mills and wife Jessica showed off some sharp charcuterie skills via their Chicken Liver Mousse | raspberry jam, Country Pate | mustard, and Bresaola | Parmesan, lemon, arugula. Look out for Mills to take over the old Cucina Rustica spot with a new joint called Miro.

Pastry Chef Margarita Kallas, Executive Chef Phillip Lee & Scratch Bar/Gadarene Swine Team Sea Urchin Sake Shooter Vegetarian Sake Shooter
The winners of last year's "Golden Plate" award (not the plate pictured--that's this year's award, being passed around for signatures), Phillip Lee and wife-slash-model-slash-Pastry Chef Margarita Kallas served up both Sea Urchin Sake Shooters and Vegetarian Sake Shooters to promote Scratch Bar and The Gadarene Swine, respectively. Keep an eye out for a new incarnation of the former restaurant to drop in the Valley in the coming weeks--should be good, especially with how things are going at Gadarene.

Kerry Moy, Yulree Chun, John Wirfs Sherwin Goo, Cathy Hong
L: President Yulree Chun and Outreach Team Member John Wirfs with Kerry Moy of M2K Group (the company behind the likes of Spear, EMC, and Triple 8).
R: Events Team Member Cathy Hong with perennial PbP fixture Sherwin Goo (whom I believe I first encountered all the way back at 2010's event).

101 Cider House Team Icelandic Glacial Team
L: 101 Cider House is the first cidery to be represented at Plate by Plate. About damn time, as their flagship, funky SoCal Scrumpy was particularly worth trying.
R: PbP's water supplier is always key, and tonight's duties were handled by Icelandic Glacial.

Chocolate Mousse Cake | cherries, Jordan almond ice cream Pastry Chef John Park & Quenelle Team
One of the schmancier desserts this evening was undoubtedly the Chocolate Mousse Cake | cherries, Jordan almond ice cream from Quenelle's John Park.

Manager of Sales and Marketing Benjamin Weiss & The Bruery Team Firestone Walker Team
L: Orange County's most celebrated brewery The Bruery was repped tonight by Manager of Sales and Marketing Benjamin Weiss, who marks his return to the event after an absence last year.
R: Another beacon of the Southern California beer scene, Firestone Walker made their first appearance (hopefully not their last) at Plate by Plate this evening.

Michael Hung Michael Hung Dragon's Breath
(Ex-)Faith & Flower's Michael Hung reels from the full force of Patina's Dragon's Breath.

Executive Chef Bernhard Mairinger Leberkas Semmerl with Spicy Brown Mustard Linzer Kipferl
Given the crowd tonight, I'm pretty sure that Bernhard Mairinger from the new BierBeisl Imbiss was the tallest person in the building. Food-wise, he had Leberkas Semmerl with Spicy Brown Mustard, a sort of veal meatloaf, as well as Linzer Kipferl, shortbread cookies with apricot jam and dark chocolate glaze. The Chef is also working on a larger version of BierBeisl proper on the Westside, so definitely look out for that in the coming year.

Halibut Sashimi Kevin Bergschneider & KazuNori Team
Headed by Kevin Bergschneider, KazuNori had the longest line for sure, not surprising given their vast menu of Tuna Sashimi, Halibut Sashimi, Toro Hand Roll, Crab Hand Roll, Yellowtail Hand Roll, Salmon Hand Roll, Scallop Hand Roll, and Cucumber Hand Roll, all made to order.

Bar Manager Jairo Bogarin & Phantom Carriage Team Lagunitas Team
L: Newbie brewer Phantom Carriage made a good showing for itself with a duo of sour, funky beers. That fine fellow is Bar Manager Jairo Bogarin, by the way.
R: For those of hoppier disposition, Lagunitas Brewing Company had plenty of their signature IPA.

Denise Chang, Kristen Chang Amy Hsu
L: Events Team Members Denise Chang and Kristen Chang, looking floral.
R: CNS marketing rep Amy Hsu with one of her many, many models.

GM Lauren Smith, Chef de Cuisine Tomas, Chef Josh Drew & Picca Team Ceviche Kokoda Peruvian Alfajores with Cajeta
Picca's Ceviche Kokoda and Peruvian Alfajores with Cajeta seemed to go over well with the crowd. Note Josh Drew (who's moving on to a different role at Sprout) as well as GM Lauren Smith and new Chef de Cuisine Tomas (only the first name is given, à la Madonna).

Stone Brewing Team Chrystal Seals Clifton of Palmina Wines
L: Stone's rep certainly looked the part of the Arrogant Bastard ale he was plying.
R: Palmina's Chrystal Seals Clifton looked as refined as her wine in that little white number.

Pan Fried Ciccioli | pickled fennel, candied kumquats, creme fraiche, pea tendrils Janie Hayes, Executive Chef Ori Menashe & Bestia Team
Unsurprisingly, Bestia's Pan Fried Ciccioli | pickled fennel, candied kumquats, creme fraiche, pea tendrils was an early favorite. Needless to say, we'll all be looking forward to Ori Menashe's upcoming Middle Eastern place on Mateo.

Kristy Lu Tiffany Kuo, Laura Higashi
L: Former PbP team member Kristy Lu returned to the event with a friend. I can't say the same about Eric Tung.
R: Events Team Member Tiffany Kuo and Operations Team Member Laura Higashi.

GM Moonlynn Tsai & Pine & Crane Team Passion Fruit Shandy / Passion Fruit Green Tea / Woodear Salad / Cucumber Salad
Pine & Crane's Moonlynn Tsai offered up the restaurant's delightful Woodear Salad, as well as Cucumber Salad, Passion Fruit Green Tea, and a superb Passion Fruit Shandy.

Norm Yost of Flying Goat Cellars Ian Blackburn of Beekeeper Cellars
L: Winemaker Norm Yost was on deck for Pinot Noir-specialist Flying Goat Cellars.
R: Beekeeper Cellars founder and Kevin Spacey lookalike Ian Blackburn poured one of his limited production Zinfandels, the 2012 Howell Mountain "Black Sears Vineyard".

San Pablo Pulled Pork / Ann's Cornbread Bibinka GM Ricky Bautista, Chef Johneric Concordia & The Park's Finest Team
The Park's Finest had Chef Johneric Concordia and GM Ricky Bautista plating up some San Pablo Pulled Pork and Ann's Cornbread Bibinka.

Lisa Thong, Kayla Vu Patrick Lee
L: Former OCA head and Yulree roommate Lisa Thong (now with edgier haircut) joins ex-PbP'er and noted Hello Kitty enthusiast Kayla Vu.
R: Events Team Member Patrick Lee and accomplices.

Teresa Brown & The 1886/Raymond Team James Carling of Ventura Limoncello
L: 1886 at The Raymond ended up winning the award for best beverage thanks to their Monte Carlo | a delicious Old-Fashioned variation using Benedictine instead of sugar & Rittenhouse Rye whiskey.
R: Last up on the beverage docket was Ventura Limoncello and effervescent founder James Carling.

Executive Chef Johnny Yoo, Yoshi, Publicist Andrea Sun Sweet Chili Shrimp Poke | sweet chili sauce, haricot vert, yellow corn, crispy tempura, cilantro
A-Frame's new Executive Chef Johnny Yoo and Yoshi served up a nod to the current poke craze with their Sweet Chili Shrimp Poke | sweet chili sauce, haricot vert, yellow corn, crispy tempura, cilantro. Reiss Company marketing head Andrea Sun, meanwhile, was fetching as well in her tropical number.

Garganelli | pork sauage, Parmesan cheese, fennel pollen Drago Centro Team
The award for most cheese-centric dish of the night has to go to Drago Centro with their Garganelli | pork sauage, Parmesan cheese, fennel pollen. I could smell the Parm from ten feet away.

Eden Tol, Ginny Chan Michael Hung, Nguyen Tran, Cathy Hong
L: National Treasurer Eden Tol and Events Team Member Ginny Chan.
R: It just wouldn't be a complete Plate by Plate without Starry Kitchen frontman Nguyen Tran and his signature banana suit. In a throwback move, he served SK's iconic Crispy Tofu Balls with Spicy Sriracha Aioli once more, and even rocked the exact same sandwich board he did back when I first encountered him at Plate by Plate 2010.

Republique Station
GM/Beverage Director Taylor Parsons, Pastry Chef Margarita Manzke, Executive Chef Walter Manzke, Director of Culinary Operations Rory Herrmann & Republique Team Rory Herrmann Serving Guests
This year, we decided to really step up the VIP area and offer two seated dining experiences. Staffed this evening by Executive Chef Walter Manzke, Pastry Chef Margarita Manzke, GM/Beverage Director Taylor Parsons, and Director of Culinary Operations Rory Herrmann, Republique certainly had the most complex kitchen setup ever to grace Plate by Plate. The restaurant also had the lengthiest menu ever, a mini tasting comprising: Taylor Bay Kumamoto Oyster | heirloom tomato, jalapeño, lime; Celery Cocktail | serrano, pineapple, tequila; Golden Corn Soup | green Thai curry; Cook Ranch Pork Belly | Black River osetra caviar; and Crème Caramel | Australian black winter truffles for dessert. It's no surprise that they ended up taking home the prize for best dish.

VIP Stage Action
The action on the VIP stage.

Moutai VIP Lounge
The Moutai VIP Lounge offered up something scarce: actual seating.

Francois Vera
VIP bar duties were the charge of Pour Vous, helmed tonight by Bar Manager François Vera and sponsored by CNS. Vera created an inventive twosome of baijiu-focused cocktails: the Chocolat Chinoise | Moutain Yingbin, yellow Chartreuse, China-China amaro, chocolate bitters, flaming absinthe and the China Car | Moutain Yingbin, Mandarine Napoléon, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, orange blossom. Damn he looks good here.

Sotto Station
Executive Chef Steve Samson & Sotto Team Mike Eng, Steve Samson
Not to be outdone, Steve Samson and Sotto presented a refreshing crudo bar concept, with a three-course menu of Albacore Conserva | heirloom beans, pickled mustard seeds; Big-Eye Tuna Crudo | smoked eggplant puree, sweet onion, marinated zucchini, breadcrumbs; and Scallop Crudo | hazelnuts, market peaches, black summer truffles. Another crowd-pleaser to be sure. Initially, there was actually a plan to have seated stations in the general admission area too, but space limitations prevented such a setup. Perhaps next year...

View from VIP Stage

Previous Plate by Plate posts: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010


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Great recap!

Thursday, July 30, 2015 9:53:00 AM  
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